R.I.P. Sally Menke, longtime editor for Quentin Tarantino

R.I.P. Sally Menke, longtime editor for Quentin Tarantino

Film editor Sally Menke, who worked closely with Quentin Tarantino on all of his films since Reservoir Dogs, has died. The L.A. Times says that she was reported missing after going hiking with her dog in yesterday’s extreme heat; today police found her body in Beachwood Canyon. Menke was 56 years old. The cause of death isn't known yet, though reports mention that the heat has been considered as a factor.

Menke got her start working on 1990’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the 1991 Lily Tomlin comedy The Search For Signs Of Intelligent Life In The Universe before first working with Tarantino. Their partnership would last nearly two decades and include everything he directed (even his segment of Four Rooms), through last year’s Inglourious Basterds. Menke’s close working relationship with Tarantino mirrored other director-editor partnerships like Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker—a partnership Menke herself referenced when she spoke of Tarantino’s films, as in this Guardian piece from last year. In it, Menke talks about their unique chemistry, saying, “We just clicked creatively. Editing is all about intuiting the tone of a scene and you have to chime with the director. It's a rare, intense sort of a relationship and if it ain't broke, you wouldn't want to fix it. We've built up such trust that now he gives me the dailies and I put 'em together and there's little interference.”